The Doctor and Agatha Christie

On December 3, 1926 a Morris Cowley car was found by a lake near Guildford, England. Inside the car was an expired driver’s license and clothes. A £100 reward for the missing person was offered by the local newspaper. Finally, on December 14th, a Mrs. Teresa Neele from Cape Town was found at a spa hotel. Two doctors examined Mrs. Neele and diagnosed her with temporary amnesia. Mrs. Teresa Neele was, in fact, one of the most famous mystery writers of all time – Agatha Christie.

What really transpired on December 3, 1926 is still a mystery. Well, not if you happened to go back in time in a blue police box with a man named the Doctor.

I recently watched “The Unicorn and the Wasp,” an episode of the BBC’s popular show, Doctor Who. In the episode, for those who haven’t seen it, the Doctor and Donna, his companion, travel back in time and invite themselves to a dinner party at the Lady Eddison’s manor where Agatha Christie is visiting. The date is December 3, 1926. The party is soon ruined when a maid comes running out of the manor saying that someone has been murdered in the library. The Doctor, Donna, and Agatha Christie join together to solve the mystery of who the murderer is.

(River Song would like to step in and stop anyone planning on watching this episode from reading the next paragraph because it is filled with spoilers. So, skip the next paragraph if you’d like to avoid them. If not, well, read on, sweeties. 😉 )

The murderer is a huge alien wasp. According to the Doctor, this alien wasp is called a Vespiform and is connected to his human mother through a fire stone. Because his mother was reading a Christie novel when he realized his alien heritage, the alien is acting out the book’s plot. Feeling guilty, Agatha Christie takes the stone and, pursued by the giant wasp, drives her Morris Cowley car to the lake, followed by the Doctor and Donna. At the lake, Donna throws the fire stone, now linked to Christie, into the water. The alien wasp-thing follows it into the water and dies. This causes Christie to fall unconscious and lose her memory of the event. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to drop her off at the hotel where she is found eleven days later. The Doctor later shows Donna a copy of Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds in which she features a wasp. The two of them realize that Agatha still has fuzzy memories of the events.

After watching the episode, I wanted to know if Agatha Christie really disappeared. Was any of this true or was it just some science fiction imaginings? She really did disappear on December 3, 1926, and her car was found by the lake. She was not found for 11 days, and she couldn’t remember what happened. The real mystery is why she disappeared. Some say that Christie was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. She was depressed about her books, her husband was in love with another woman, and her mother had died. Another theory is that her disappearance was a stunt to save her marriage or to increase book sales. Of course, others (such as time-travelling aliens) seem to believe it had something to do a wasp. 😉 I also wondered if Agatha Christie really wrote a story about a wasp like the Doctor said. Death in the Clouds is a real Agatha Christie novel in which a wasp is originally believed to have killed a rich French moneylender.

Thanks for reading and Allons-y!

~ Kayla

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Quote of the Week

On Monday, I finished writing my NaNo novel! Yeah! I chose this quote from Dorothy Parker, author of many poems and short stories, because of that.

“I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker

I don’t really hate writing. I love creating the characters and their world and watching their story unfold. However, nothing can come close to the feeling of “having written.” I love typing “The End” at the bottom of the document, knowing that I saw this story through to its completion, and I didn’t give up.

~ Kayla

What I’ve Read This Month – Percy, Percy, and Even More Percy

If you want to know what I read this month, I’ve got two words for you. Percy Jackson. I started reading the Percy Jackson series this month, and I have absolutely loved it. In fact, five of the seven books I read were from the first Percy Jackson series. So, be prepared for lots and lots of Percy Jackson! 🙂

Some of the books I've read this month. I had to return two of the books to the library since others wanted to read them. :)

Some of the books I’ve read this month. I had to return two of the books to the library since others wanted to read them. 🙂

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

One day Percy is attacked by a creature straight out Greek mythology. The only place Percy is safe is a summer camp called Camp Half-Blood where he finds out who he truly is. There he goes on a quest to recover Zeus’s master bolt. After hearing about these books again and again, I finally decided to give them a try. It’s safe to say I’m a fan now!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Camp Half-Blood is being overrun by monsters because the tree that protects the camp is poisoned. When Percy returns to camp, he has a nightmare about his best friend Grover who is being held by a Cyclops. When Annabeth, Percy’s other good friend, hears about Percy’s nightmares, she realizes the key to saving Camp Half-Blood is to rescue Grover and find the Golden Fleece. Just like the first book, the second Percy Jackson book was terrific!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Grover needs Percy’s help again when he discovers two new half-bloods at a school. It’s there that Percy and his friends learn that Kronos, enemy of the gods, has set up a trap for them. I’ve been enjoying the series a ton, and each book is as good as the last.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Camp Half-Blood is in trouble. The Titan army is planning an invasion through Daedalus’s labyrinth. The camp’s only hope is to convince Daedalus not to give the Titan army the string that will lead them through the maze. Another great Percy Jackson book!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson leads Camp Half-Blood in a last ditch effort to save the camp and Olympus itself. This was probably my favorite book in the series. It was absolutely amazing, and I was cheering Percy on at the end. A great conclusion to a great series.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

After Jaron takes the throne, there is an assassination attempt on his life. He soon realizes that the only way to save his kingdom is to leave it. He tracks down his enemy, the pirates, in order to stop a war from coming to his land. I read the first book in the series, The False Prince, and I liked it. I didn’t like this one as much. It took me a while to get through the book. I didn’t really love Jaron, and I found the book really hard to get into.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe is the story of a man marooned on a deserted island for many years. The book tells how he survived on the island and learned how to provide for himself. I was surprised about how much I enjoyed the novel. The descriptions and such could get a little long, but mostly it was an entertaining novel to listen to.

Have you read any of these books? If so, did you enjoy them? Do you have any recommendations for me? Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 3

*Fireflies by Owl City plays* Welcome to this week’s installment of Fireflies, my Owl City fanfiction! Last time, Arden and Ben were setting off on their adventure to help Ben beat his insomnia by catching a special firefly. Will poor Ben ever get to sleep? Stay tuned!

Arden started marching off in the direction of the lake. “Queen Titania’s palace is right on the shores of the lake, Ben. It’s so beautiful! To get there we have to brave the cold mountains, the enchanted forest, and the hungry dragons. The fireflies will light the way for us. Come on, Ben! We must continue on!”

“The lake is about a mile and a half walk,” I protested trudging along behind her. “And the last time I looked there were no mountains, forest, or dragons in our town.” Not to mention fairies or fireflies named Titania.

“We’ll be back by morning, Ben, don’t worry,” Arden assured me. “Besides, it’s not like you can sleep.”

I swished my net in front of me making the air whistle around it. I wondered why I told her about my insomnia problem, and why I ever thought she would have a “normal” solution. Still it was a nice night for a walk, and Arden was right. I couldn’t sleep. “Okay, Arden. Are we getting close to the golden mountains yet?”

“They’re the cold mountains, and they aren’t too far away. We need a song to sing while we walk. Maybe an ol’ sea shanty, mate! Argh.” She did her best pirate impression. “Or maybe a song about fireflies! I’d get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs …” she started to sing.

“I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere,” I told her.

“Me, too,” Arden said. “What else could we sing?”

“How about we don’t sing?” I suggested.

“You’re no fun, Ben! But, oh, if we don’t sing we can pretend we’re creeping through the forest, looking for the dragons so we can arrest them. Officer Hart calling Officer Sweet.” She said the words into her hand and made a clicking sound with her tongue like a radio clicking on and off. I stared at her, wondering how one girl could have so many strange ideas mixed up in her head.

“But, Arden. Police officers and dragons don’t have anything to do with each other.” This crossing of storylines was too much for me.

“Pst! You have to talk back in your radio, Ben!” Arden whispered, holding up her hand.

“Arden, really.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“C’mon, Arden.”

“I can’t hear you.”

“Officer Sweet calling Officer Hart,” I said, giving in to her demands.

“Officer Sweet, I think I see our dragon. I’m going in after him,” Arden said through her “radio.”

“Umm…Arden?”

“You mean Officer Hart. I can’t hear you if you don’t talk through your radio. You should have learned proper radio procedure in the academy.”

I sighed, looking up into the night sky, and held my hand up to my mouth. “Police don’t track down dragons. Dragons aren’t real. So you couldn’t possibly have seen a dragon. Right, Arden?” There was no answer. Looking around me, I realized Arden was nowhere to be seen. “Arden?” I called again. Still, there was no answer. It was just me and the fireflies. Maybe she’d gotten distracted and was chasing down another imaginary creature. “Arden!” I called, hoping she would appear. After a few more minutes of silence, I started getting worried. There was only one thing to do. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Arden’s number.

“Hello, Ben! Where are you?” she answered, then yelled, “Back foul beast!”

“I’m where I was when you left me. Where are you, Arden? I thought I lost you,” I told her.

“I’m fighting a dragon and oh, look!” Arden squealed on the other end of the phone.

Then the phone went dead. “Arden?” I cried. “Arden?” Immediately, my mind flooded with a million horrible things that could have happened to her. Maybe a kidnapper got her, or she fell into a hole, or a bear attacked her. Maybe she could have even run into a dragon. If there really was a dragon, I decided I couldn’t leave her to fight it alone. With that thought, I dashed forward, calling her name.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: July 18 – 24

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 11,931

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Monday with 1,731 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, Fences.

The Good News: I still haven’t missed a day of NaNoWriMo!

The Bad News: I’m ready to be finished working on my NaNoWriMo novel.

Lesson Learned: I’m ready to work on something else! I’ve come up with a new novel idea, have a bunch of fanfictions I want to write, and I want to get back to editing Snow. This is always the time of NaNo where progress seems to drag for me, and I’m ready for something new. Every NaNo, my lesson learned is to just keep going, even when it isn’t the easiest.

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 1,667 words a day.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla

Grammar Rule – Commas and Adjectives

Disclaimer: I don’t own Merry or Pippin. They just popped by and asked if they could help out. So, of course, I said yes. 🙂

“Pippin, I’m writing a story about our adventures in Isengard, and I can’t seem to remember something.” Merry chewed on the end of his quill pen.

“Well, I’m here to help!” Pippin bit into an apple. “What do you need to know?”

“Was Legolas’s hair ‘long, lovely’ or was it ‘long lovely?” wondered Merry. “I think I need a comma between the two words.”

“And I was just about to say you didn’t,” Pippin sighed. “I don’t know which is correct.”

Merry looked forlornly down. How was he supposed to finish his story without knowing whether to use a comma or not? This was a grammar conundrum indeed. Luckily, Merry and Pippin, all you have to do is read this post, and you’ll find the answer to your question!

Let’s start by defining what an adjective is. An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. Black, seven, pretty, mad, cozy, soft, and hungry are all examples of adjectives. Now that we know what an adjective is, we can answer Merry and Pippin’s grammar question.

Legolas’s long, lovely hair is his pride and joy.

If you can interchange the adjectives and the sentence still makes sense, then you need a comma. For example, if you say Legolas’s lovely, long hair instead of long, lovely hair the sentence still makes sense. That means you need a comma between the two adjectives.

Tauriel is jealous of Legolas’s silky, shiny hair.

Another way of telling if you need a comma is to see if an “and” could be added between the two adjectives logically. It still makes sense if the wording is silky and shiny hair instead of silky, shiny hair. That means a comma is needed.

Legolas’s brown leather armor goes well with his hair.

There is no need to put a comma between brown and leather because you can’t exchange the adjectives or add an “and” and have the sentence still make sense. You wouldn’t say leather brown armor or leather and brown armor, so you wouldn’t need a comma.

Legolas’s sharp elven knives were a gift from Thranduil.

You cannot switch the adjectives here. Elven sharp knives just doesn’t make sense, so no comma is needed.

“I guess you were right, Merry. It does need a comma!” Pippin noted as Merry carefully wrote out the words “long” and “lovely” in the book, being sure to include a comma.

“I’m glad I know the difference now. I’d hate not to be able to finish my story. I’m going to call it How Two Hobbits Took Down Isengard and Plundered Isengard’s Salted Pork. I still think it’ll be better than Frodo’s story, The Lord of the Rings.”

“At least it will have correct comma usage!” Pippin said, leaving his friend to continue working on his story.

Merry and Pippin say thank you for reading! 🙂

~ Kayla

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote of the week comes from one of my favorite authors, Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I absolutely adore his books, and I thought that the man who wrote such a great series had to have some great writing advice! I chose this quote from him because I’m experiencing exactly what he’s talking about. I want to start on a new novel idea I came up with partly because new ideas are exciting and partly because it’s hard to finish the book I’m working on. But I know that if I switch now, I’ll never win Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ll never finish Fences.

“Writing a book is always hard work. It’s much easier to think of new ideas. You’ll get to the middle of the manuscript and you’ll think, ‘Oh, this is too hard. I think I’ll start another book instead and that will be easier.’ DON’T. That new book won’t be any easier.” – Rick Riordan

~ Kayla

Happy Anniversary!

Happy anniversary, dear blog, happy anniversary to you! That’s right, today, July 22nd, is my blog’s one year anniversary! YEAH! I can’t believe it’s been one whole year since I’ve started. I never expected to have even one follower until at least a year into it, and I now have almost 200. I thank each and every one of you for reading and commenting! So many of you have been encouraging and kind. Today, I’m celebrating by sharing some of my favorite and most popular posts from this year.

Most Viewed

Grammar Rule – Affect vs Effect

An Interesting Word – View Halloo

The Story of Jane Austen and Mark Twain

Most Commented On

Y” So Many Paranormal Romances – A Short Rant

Another Award Post!

Five Favorite Writing Soundtracks

My Favorite Posts

Writing Sample – Hot Air Balloon – Part 1

Five Favorite Drawing Books

The Adventure Begins – Part 1

An Interesting Word – Blimey

And of course, how could I forget my very first post? 🙂

Welcome to my blog!

I also thought I’d include a list of the top ten countries outside of the USA that viewed my blog. I’m always shocked that I have readers outside the US, and I think it’s so cool that my readers come from all over the world!

10. Italy

9. Sweden

8. India

7. Malaysia

6. France

5. Hong Kong

4. Germany

3. Australia

2. Canada

1. United Kingdom

Thank you for letting me share my writing and thoughts with you. I hope to see you all around next year!

~ Kayla

Fireflies – Part 2

Last week, I posted the first part of Fireflies, my Owl City fanfiction. It’s a story based on the lyrics of the song “Fireflies.” You can read the first part here if you missed it last week. Enjoy!

11:00pm, Tuesday, August 6th – I was watching an episode of Star Trek, hoping to drift off to sleep to the familiar, soothing voice of Captain Picard. Arden had already called at 10:30pm and wished me a good night’s sleep. I didn’t think she really meant it, though. I knew she was standing by, ready to implement “The Plan.” If I couldn’t sleep, I was supposed to contact her immediately. How could I possibly relax knowing Arden was waiting for me to call. It was too much pressure. My ringing phone broke into my thoughts. I didn’t even have to look at the name. I knew who was calling.

“Are you asleep yet, Ben?” whispered Arden.

“No, I’m not,” I said. “Why are you whispering?”

“That way if you were asleep, I wouldn’t wake you up.”

“I answered your call. I’m awake. And even if I wasn’t, your call would have woken me up.”

“Oh. Right. Remember to call me if you can’t sleep, okay? Bye, Ben!”

I sat my phone back down on the nightstand and turned back to Star Trek. Commander Riker looked terrible. In this episode he couldn’t sleep either. Of course, he was being kidnapped and experimented on by aliens. I hadn’t considered alien interference before. Maybe aliens had been doing experiments on me my whole life by interrupting my sleep patterns. Perhaps, they had planted an alien observer just next door. I always had suspected Arden’s unearthly origins. My phone rang again. “Hello, Arden. No, I’m not asleep.”

“How did you know what I was going to ask? Are you psychic, Ben?”

“No. Are you an alien?”

She didn’t deny it, and just laughed. “Well, call me if you can’t sleep!” I hung up the phone and seriously thought about blocking her number. If she were an alien, though, it wouldn’t do any good.

12:00am, Wednesday, August 7th I couldn’t sleep. It had been an hour and a half since I climbed into bed, and the most I’d done was stare up at my ceiling. And answer the phone. The aliens had won. With a sigh, I grabbed my phone.

It only had a chance to ring once. Arden’s cheerful voice came on the other end. “Hello, Ben! You can’t sleep, can you?” She sounded way too happy about my problem.

“No, I can’t,” I said a bit sadly.

“Time for ‘The Plan.’ Grab your shoes and come outside.”

“I’ll be out in a few.”

“I can’t wait! You will not believe your eyes, Ben!”

I got dressed and slipped on my shoes. I crept through my house, careful not to wake any of my family. I left a note just in case my mom or dad noticed I wasn’t there. I opened the door and stepped out onto my porch. There was Arden with a large thermos, two nets, and a jar. She was wearing a safari hat.

“Isn’t it beautiful out here, Ben. Look at the fireflies!” Arden started spinning around, her safari hat flying off her head. “They fill the open air and leave their teardrops everywhere.” She stopped spinning, and looked concerned. “I hope they aren’t sad.” She stooped down and picked up her hat.

Maybe it was rude, but all I could do was stop and stare. Arden and I had been friends for a while now, but I still didn’t get her many times. “I think the fireflies are fine, Arden. I’m the one with the problem.”

Refocused on her mission, she smiled. “We’re going on a quest, Ben.” She handed me a net. “Take ye trusty ol’ net, and let us commence!” She ran out into the grass and followed one of the little yellow lights around, and swiped with her net. “Got it!” Arden let it go in her jar and put the top on. “That’s one! There are so many out here. I bet there are ten million fireflies lighting up the world when I fall asleep, and I never realized it. Isn’t that amazing, Ben?”

I didn’t answer. I was busy swinging my trusty ol’ net. I nabbed three fireflies in one swing.

“Good one!” Arden opened the jar and placed them inside. “That’s four! These are just our practice bugs. What we need to catch is Queen Titania, according to the Legend of the Firefly!”

“The Legend of the Firefly? I’ve never heard of that.”

“Well, you know, Ben, legends have to start somewhere. And I’ve decided this legend starts with me!”

“It doesn’t work like that Arden,” I told her.

“Why not? Just listen. Long ago … well, five minutes ago, there was a boy, and he couldn’t sleep. He was you, Ben! Isn’t that exciting? You’re part of a legend now!”

“But Arden, it isn’t a real -”

She cut me off, continuing her legend. “One night, a fairy came to him – I’m the fairy, by the way – and told him she could help him to fall asleep.”

Fairy? I knew Arden couldn’t be human. I hadn’t considered the possibility of a fairy, though.

“And then the fairy told him that if he wanted to fall asleep, he had to go on an epic quest.”

“Epic quest? It’s too late for epic quests.” I sighed, sure at this point I’d never get to sleep.

“But you’ll never fall asleep unless you go! See, you have to catch a very special firefly down by the lake. It’s Queen Titania, the ruler of the fireflies, and once you catch her, she’ll give you a potion to make you fall asleep! C’mon Ben! Let’s go!”

Well, I thought, what did I have to lose.

Thanks for reading!

~Kayla

Weekly Writing Wrap-Up: July 11 – 17

Welcome to my Weekly Writing Wrap-Up for this week.

Total Word Count for the Week: 13,359

Top Writing Day: My top writing day was Sunday with 2,882 words.

What I Worked On: I worked on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, Fences, and wrote some fanfiction.

The Good News: I haven’t missed a day of NaNoWriMo yet!

The Bad News: I try not write any fanfiction during NaNoWriMo so I can focus solely on my novel. I lost control and gave in last week. >.<

Lesson Learned: Do not try to write while riding in a car. I tried to get in my NaNo writing on the way down to my grandmother’s, and I was so motion sick. I am never ever writing in the car again.

Goal for Next Week: My goal for next week is 1,667 words a day.

If you’d like to share your weekly wrap-up, go ahead and post it in the comments below!

~ Kayla